The Rickshaw Travel Group ("Rickshaw Travels") was founded in May 1988. From our humble beginnings as a small travel agency, we have grown and expanded into several countries and today have 28 years of experience in the travel business, both corporate and leisure... read more .

6 Things You Don’t Want To Miss In Turkey

Every time I ask a traveller what their favourite place they’ve been to is, if they’ve been to Turkey, they always say Turkey. If their response is something besides Turkey, I always ask if they’ve been to Turkey. The answer is always no.

What does everyone love about Turkey so much? The history? The art? The fun things to do? It’s a combination of all of it, and we want to make sure that when you visit Turkey, you leave knowing that it’s your favourite place, too. To have the time of your life in Turkey, make sure you don’t miss seeing or doing these ten things:

1. Hot Air Balloon Rides Over Cappadocia

The landscape of Cappadocia is magical and mysterious, often called a “lunar landscape” with “Fairy Chimneys” – natural columns and pinnacles that poke more than 100 feet into the air. They give Cappadocia – especially when viewed from the sky – an other-worldly quality that you don’t want to miss.

2. Enjoy a Turkish Bath

Turkish baths (Hamams) are world-renowned not just for how relaxed you feel when you leave, but for the history and politics that surrounded the Turkish bath from centuries ago. Men and women bathe separately, relaxing in heated marble rooms while being scrubbed and then massaged with oils. There are “self-serve” options where you bathe yourself, or additional services such as Indian head massage or facial clay mask, but the traditional Turkish bath is an experience you don’t want to miss.

3. The Blue Mosque

Regardless of your religious affiliation, you can’t help but be impressed with the architecture of the Blue Mosque. Built between 1606 and 1616 by Sultan Ahmet, the six minarets (as opposed to two or four like most other mosques) of the mosque will take your breath away. The mosque is both a popular tourist attraction and a functioning place of worship, so visitors are advised to dress conservatively and take note of the hours since they don’t run visiting hours during prayer times.

4. Hagia Sophia

Just near the Blue Mosque is the fourth largest church on earth, Hagia Sophia. Having been used as both a church and a mosque, the building is now a museum for everyone to enjoy. It is full of culture, history and mystique, and is a must-see for anyone passing through Istanbul.

5. Goreme Open-Air Museum

A member of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, the Goreme Open-Air Museum is a complex of churches and monasteries hewn from the rock between the 10th to 12th centuries. Each church is unique, some with multiple stories and some with beautiful painted motifs. Take a guided tour if you want to know the details or enjoy the beautiful walk around the Museum and just breathe in the history.

6) The Underground City

In 1963, a man in Turkey was undertaking some home improvements when he happened upon a secret room under his house. That room led to another, and then to a tunnel and then to a whole underground city. It is estimated that 20,000 people lived in the underground city of Derinkuyu, which has been discovered to be 18 stories deep! The first 8 storeys are open to the public, though make sure you duck if you’re tall – the tunnels can be a little small.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. We haven’t gone anywhere near the food, the shisha, the beaches, or the yummy Turkish coffee! If you don’t have a visit to Turkey on your bucket list, now’s the time to put it on! And then come back and tell us if Turkey is your favourite place to visit, too!